Alycia Baumgardner ‘coming for destruction’, Christina Linardatou feels ‘unstoppable’

Alycia Baumgardner ‘coming for destruction’, Christina Linardatou feels ‘unstoppable’

Alycia Baumgardner defends her undisputed super featherweight title against her old rival and former world champion Christina Linardatou at Masonic Temple in Detroit, MI on Saturday, July 15. The pair squares off in the scheduled for 10 rounds bout live stream on DAZN. Ahead of the event the fighters hosted the final pre-fight press conference, previewed their bout and went face to face.

In their first fight in July 2018, Linardatou defeated Baumgardner by split decision.

In her previous bout in February in New York, Alycia Baumgardner (14-1, 7 KOs) defeated Elhem Mekhaled by unanimous decision, retained her unified WBC, IBF and WBO belts and claimed the WBA strap. With the victory, the 29-year-old native of Fremont, Ohio lifted the undisputed 130-pound crown.

“This is a full-circle moment for me,” Baumgardner said. “I am looking at her and picturing myself at our first fight, and knowing who I am now, the growth that was necessary to get to this moment, I’m a completely different fight now and she will see that on Saturday.”

“That fight was, at the time, me stepping up and looking for the challenge. I was 5-0, she was 9-1. I wanted a challenge and that was the one for me, it was a close fight, a split-decision, and I got the loss. But I just thought ‘what’s next?’ I had to be real with myself, change my team and my environment, location, everything, and it was all necessary to be here.”

“If you know anything about being a hunter, you must kill your pray. I’m going to make sure that arrow goes through her heart so she can’t get up. Even though I am undisputed I still have that dog in me, the hunger I had when I was eight years old, and she’s the perfect fighter to bring that out of me.”

“I am embracing all of this. It’s time to feel the love, another time to make history in Detroit and do that as a woman, show the world who I am. I am coming for destruction. I have my grown woman strength and I am ready to put these hands on her and get that lick back that I have been waiting to do.”

Alycia Baumgardner vs Christina Linardatou faceoff
Alycia Baumgardner and Christina Linardatou go face to face at the press conference ahead of their bout at Masonic Temple in Detroit, MI, USA on Saturday, July 15, 2023 | Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

‘I’ve been through hell to get here’

Former two-time WBO junior welterweight champion Christina Linardatou (14-2, 6 KOs) last fought in June 2022 in Kavala, Greece where she scored a unanimous decision against Aleksandra Vujovic. With the win, the 35-year-old native of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic secured her straight victory.

“It’s such a great opportunity for me, it’s something any boxer dreams of – the biggest thing a boxer can achieve,” Linardatou said. “She’s already done it, but I have beaten her once and I will do it again.”

“She is very strong, I remember she was always hugging in the last round, she worked in the early rounds but then hugging – I was always hunting, never hugging, like I do in every fight.”

“I always fight hard from first to last bell, because I am the underdog and I know I must go and get it. I have many skills, but I need to be dog and go and get it.”

“I am not afraid of the power, I’m used to it, I spar with men, and I have been preparing for it, and I have a great defense too.”

“To win means a lot – I am looking for the big fights she is talking about. I want to do it. I’ve been through hell to get here. I feel unstoppable.”

In the UK and Australia, Baumgardner vs Linardatou 2 airs live on Sunday, July 16.

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